In Chicago, a good police officer is determined by the work activity he or she does. Work activity can range from writing someone a parking ticket to chasing a gangbanger down a dark alley and arresting that person for a murder he just committed. While police officers may look at the quality and then quantity of their arrest activity of fellow police officers, administrators seem to look more at the quantity then the quality of arrest activity.
Within the Chicago Police Department, a member can be promoted to nine different levels. These range from: Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, Deputy Chief (or Assistant Deputy Superintendent), Chief, Deputy Superintendent, First Deputy Superintendent, and Superintendent of Police. It is not until a member becomes a Commander that her or she becomes part of the police administration. A Commander is the lowest member of the police department that can institute policies concentrating on the substance of police work.
For many Commanders (and their superiors) it has been many years since they were a police officer chasing bad guys with guns. For this reason, some Commanders (and their superiors) may not be able to relate to today's police officer. These types of administrators tend to look at the quantity of the arrest activity of the officers under their command, then at the quality.
In today's police department, computers play a critical role. Computers can help police officers identify crime waves and keep track of all arrest throughout the city. Commanders tend to look at the number and type of arrest that occur within the district or area that they are in charge of. These numbers are also known as an index. With a click of a few buttons on a computer, a Commander can determine if the officers under his or her command are making...